Thursday, May 26, 2011

Richard Ho Lung Left The Jesuit Order And Moved Into The Slums And Ghettos Of Kingston,

What he had experienced changed everything – the poverty and want, violence and suffering on Jamaica moved Richard Ho Lung deeply. In 1981 this Jesuit priest and university professor resigned his post and his title. He had studied philosophy, English literature and theology and had taught at St. George’s College in the University of the West Indies (UWI) in Jamaica and at the Boston College in the United States. Born in Jamaica, he had been ordained to the priesthood in 1971. "I was preaching the Word of God but not living it", recalls Father Richard Ho Lung, during a visit to the headquarters of the international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).

Richard Ho Lung left the Jesuit Order and moved into the slums and ghettos of Kingston, the Jamaican capital. "I got to know the life of the poor and saw the Beatitudes of Jesus as my mission", recalls the now 72-year-old whose grandfather originally came from China. At first the people he met were surprised and astonished by him but very soon this priest, who devoted himself to the poor, elderly and sick, became highly regarded. Others were quickly drawn by his example and joined him. A small community of four men, both priests and laity, came into being. They called themselves the Brothers of the Poor, since they were accepted as brothers by the poor.
Link (here) to read the full article at Aid to the Church in Need


TonyD said...

While I admire the intention and courage of Fr. Lung, I’m mystified by his choice.

There are many ways to help the poor. We can look for cause and effect. We can try to reflect God’s values to arrive at appropriate judgments for our time.

While it’s true that poverty will always be with us, this observation ignores the varied reasons for poverty. Right now, most people in the world are slowly moving toward more poverty. That doesn’t have to be the case, though, since we are able to address the growing causes of worldly poverty. This is our domain – the material domain. We can choose to improve it for our society, and that is a positive, even Saintly, action.

We should not keep trying to blindly imitate the actions and judgments of Saints and Prophets long dead. When inspired, Saints applied God’s values to guide their judgment – often unconsciously, in ways not reflected in their writing. I don’t think we’d recognize a real Saint today – his opinions and judgments would not be sufficiently consistent with dead Saints and Prophets. I’m glad that we’ve stopped burning heretics.

Maria said...

His website states the nature of their spirituality:

"The Spirituality of our Institute is to be in union with Christ on the Cross, as we give joyful service to the least of our brothers and sisters and to one another in the community. We will cheerfully serve our suffering and crucified Lord as He appears to us in the poor, knowing that through the Cross He attained for us Everlasting Life".

True liberation. True theology. What a gracious, loving witness. Thanks, Joseph. Thanks, Father Ho Lung.

TonyD said...

I believe that an argument could be made that if Christ appeared in these times He might choose some other way to help the poor.

In particular, He would understand that most of us live in oppressive societies. One result of that oppression is fewer choices in life, and those fewer choices mean that our material lives provide fewer opportunities for lessons, since God generally uses our material world for lessons. At the extreme end, a prisoner has far fewer options for exercising his free will, and thus God has fewer material world options for the prisoner’s lessons. So concentration of wealth at the expense of others in a society is oppressive – even if we aren’t talking about the traditional definition of poverty.

Some might ask why God doesn’t simply work a miracle. But we are responsible for the material world, and our collective lack of action can be interpreted as reflecting our values.

Vapir No2 Vaporizer said...

They really need a admiration such that there are many ways to help the poor persons. And this can Also be considered as good method. Richard Ho Lung left the Jesuit Order and moved into the slums and ghettos of Kingston.

Kevin said...

One of the best sentence is "I was preaching the Word of God but not living it".I like it.

wye said...

Poverty is the worst kind of violence